Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction involving the respiratory system and leading to circulatory shock. It is caused when a person is exposed to an allergen. The initial reaction may cause localized itching and swelling, but may rapidly spread throughout the body in the form of: rash or hives over the skin; swelling of the face, mouth and throat; intense itching; a feeling of nervousness or worry; and loss of consciousness.
Common allergens that may cause anaphylaxis include but are not limited to: animal dander, fish, latex, milk, shellfish, tree nuts, eggs, insect venom, medications, peanuts, soy and wheat. A severe, life threatening, allergic reaction usually occurs quickly, within minutes to hours. Prior to their first anaphylactic reaction, most people are unaware of the significance of their allergy. Prevention and early recognition and management of allergic reactions are vitally important to prevent anaphylactic shock.
Henrico County Public Schools recognizes that students with life threatening allergies attend school, and in accordance with the Food, Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), provides an allergy-safe environment to minimize the chance of anaphylactic reactions.